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LUXURY HOTEL INSIDER
 
FSA LogoThe Luxury Hotel Insider: Exclusive luxury hotel deals, features and special rates from the luxury hotel experts at Five Star Alliance. 
 
Named one of Tripbase's Best Luxury Travel Blogs for 2011, below are Five Star Alliance's newest articles featuring exclusive information on luxury hotels worldwide including special offers and deals at the world's best hotels.

The Colony Villas at Half Moon Bay


By: Madelyn Giblin

Colony Villas at Half MoonLocated in the exclusive Rose Hall area in Jamaica, the Colony at Half Moon, scheduled to open in 2010, offers unparalleled views overlooking beachfront property near Montego Bay. Located within the Half Moon Resort, the Colony will feature 30 luxurious villas offering a choice of three, four, or five bedroom villas, all with personal pool, dining area, gardens, terraces and verandas. The Colony at Half Moon is an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. Each bedroom will have a private bathroom, and each villa is provided with its own personal cook, gardener, housekeeper, butler and laundress. In addition to the wealth of activities to do at your personal villa, the Colony at Half Moon also offers a variety of services and facilities including a spectacular golf course, the Spa at Half Moon, multiple bars and restaurants, a dolphin lagoon, equestrian centre and a shopping village. Enjoy a unique Jamaican vacation in style.

Publisher Update: I just received the following note from the hotel with updates:

Much in the spirit of the founding families of Half Moon, The Colony is a singular opportunity for visitors to our treasured resort to become a part of the Half Moon heritage through ownership of a luxurious villa at The Colony at Half Moon.

These opulent, spacious three-, four- and five-bedroom villas will offer both villa owners and guests an unparalleled level of comfort, service and amenities. Planned for 14 acres of Half Moon's 400-acre estate, visitors to The Colony at Half Moon will enjoy an even deeper sense of home with the attentive care of a butler, cook, housekeeper, laundress and gardener in surroundings designed to offer the very best of gracious Caribbean living.

The Colony at Half Moon signals the final phase of a vision that began in 2003 to bring about a renaissance at Half Moon that would see our beloved resort being a part of the legacy for another generation of guests. Step by step with your unwavering support, we have renovated, refurbished and upgraded the facilities, services and amenities offered at Half Moon. The feedback from you and your clients have been invaluable in helping to shape and guide the direction we have taken over the years. With this new offering and all that The Colony villas promise, we are confident that we will have a product to which you will be even more proud to send your clients.

Equally, we are mindful of the treasured clients you will continue to send to Half Moon while The Colony is being erected. Let me assure you that every measure is being planned to ensure that any work relating to The Colony will have minimal impact on the comfort, enjoyment and experience you and your clients have come to expect of Half Moon. Thanks to the vast space and layout of Half Moon, The Colony has been planned for a small area of our 400 acres that is away from guest accommodations. We are confident that our mutual clients will continue to have memorable experiences at Half Moon and will enjoy even more the experience The Colony will offer.

For your information, please find attached aerial views of the resort that outline the space designated for The Colony at Half Moon. Also attached are renderings of the aesthetic hoardings and pathways planned for the site. We have also included for your interest architectural renderings of The Colony villas. While work is scheduled to begin within the next 16 months, much of that is contingent on the success of the project's pre-sale efforts. The response to this offer has been very positive and we believe the project should remain on schedule with an estimated completion in late 2010.


Maxim Bungalows in the Dominican Republic


By: Madelyn Giblin

Despite several delays due to ongoing construction, the highly anticipated Maxim Bungalows will be opening this year. March 15 marks the debut of Maxim Bungalows, Cofresi Beach, while its sibling resort at Juan Dolio will open in September. Maxim Bungalows is designed to give singles and couples alike an exotic stay in one of the Dominican Republic's finest resorts. Maxim Bungalows boasts 108 one and two bedroom bungalows complete with 24 hour service, Jacuzzi tub and flat screen TV. The resort includes a large, relaxing spa, and pool area, and most notably, a 54 foot yacht, which guests have the ability to charter for day trips and evening cruises.

Maxim Bungalows also offers a variety of activities for its active guests including jungle trips, scuba diving, a lively nightlife at various bars, cabanas, and night clubs in the area. The spa also offers guests a place to relax and rejuvenate in an exotic exciting environment. Maxim Bungalows stands out as the place to go for trendy singles searching for a place to enjoy a magnificent resort. And yes, it is related to Maxim Magazine. Visit www.maximbungalows.com.


Bliss Out on Sardinina at L’Ea Bianca Luxury Resort


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

L'Ea Bianca ResortThis summer, think Sardinia. The second largest island in the Mediterranean boasts beautiful, unspoiled coastlines and some of the best scenery in all of Italy. The new L'Ea Bianca resort, meaning literally "white water," sprawls over a gentle hillside overlooking the turquoise and emerald sea. Opposite the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, the resort is framed by a lovely beach and groves of green juniper trees. There are only 31 bedrooms at the resort, meaning the ultimate privacy for guests. Each offers a spacious balcony, elegant furnishings, and bathrooms with both showers and whirlpool tubs. Lounge on the beach, where attendants will provide sun umbrellas and sun beds, or by the lovely pool. Not far from the Porto Cervo harbor (which houses some of the Med's most elegant yachts), L'Ea Bianca is located on one of the most prestigious areas of Sardinia's Emerald coast. Note: The spa will open this year, an excellent addition to the health and beauty center.


Sail the Seychelles with Banyan Tree’s Lagoon I Catamaran


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Banyan Tree SeychellesSet sail on the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean and discover some of the most stunning scenery on the planet: remote islands of talcum powder beaches and lush tropical forests, and underwater life equally as beautiful. The 47-foot twin-hulled catamaran Banyan Tree Lagoon I will take to the seas of the Seychelles starting in March 2008. Staffed by a personal host and skipper and stocked with all the luxurious amenities one expects of Banyan Tree, the ship will accommodate six guests for overnight cruises from the resort. Wood-paneled bedrooms are spacious, and the air-conditioned main salon provides panoramic views.


One Complimentary Night at Reid’s Palace, Madeira, Portugal


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Reid's Palace, MadeiraNow's your chance to extend your stay at this glamorous palace hotel perched on the cliffs of Madeira overlooking Funchal Bay. After a multi-million dollar renovation in 2006, the legendary Reid's Palace has re-emerged as the finest luxury hotel on this Portuguese Atlantic outpost, a paradise of lovely pools and stunning views. Managed by Orient-Express Hotels, Reid's Palace also boasts a lovely spa. Take advantage of the "One Complimentary Night Offer" and get a free seventh night from March 18- April 19, 2008. Starting at $4,112 (double occupancy) for the full week stay, including daily breakfast and roundtrip airport transfers. Celebrated for its wine-making tradition, the beautiful island of Madeira has a temperate, therapeutic climate, just right for a springtime visit.


Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora: Newest Gem of the South Seas


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Four Seasons Bora BoraNow accepting reservations for October 2008, the new Four Seasons Bora Bora promises the allure of one of the world's most magical destinations with the legendary Four Seasons touch. Situated around a picture-perfect azure lagoon, the resort is comprised of exotic over-water bungalows and beachfront villas with private pools. Here you can explore one of the world's top snorkeling spots, lounge on a powder-white sand beach, swim with a giant sea turtle, take in a sunset over the soaring island peaks, indulge in a spa treatment overlooking the rolling Pacific, and enjoy lagoon-side fire dances under a starry sky. Be one of the first to experience the unmatched luxury of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and get a fifth night free when you pay for four nights! Starting at XPF 86,500, the package is available from October 1, 2008- March 31, 2009.


Sports Illustrated 2008 Swimsuit Issue Highlights Caneel Bay, St. John


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Caneel BayWhen you check out supermodel Marisa Miller on the cover of Sports Illustrated, you'll also be ogling a gorgeous setting: the legendary beaches of Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort. Fashion photographer Raphael Mazzucco captured portraits of bathing beauties on the beach at the Caribbean getaway of choice for generations of returning clients. Where did the girls stay when not frolicking on the beach for the photo shoot? Cottage #7, the original quarters of founder Laurence Rockefeller and still the resort's most requested accommodations. Experience the beauty of Sports Illustrated's 2008 Swimsuit Issue with the "Suited for Sunshine" package from Caneel Bay, which includes accommodations for 2 in a Beachfront guest room, full breakfast & dinner daily, private Champagne & hors d'oeuvres picnic, sunset cruise, half-day sail, watercolor lessons, massage for 2, romantic dinner for 2 in the Sugar Mill Ruins, tennis lessons for 2, welcome beach bag with hat or visor and certificate for 25 percent off any swimsuit purchase at the Caneel Bay Gift Shop, and round-trip airport transfers. Package starts from $4,720, double occupancy, valid from May 1- October 31, 2008.


Summer Special in the Maldives at Cocoa Island


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Cocoa IslandThe picture says it all. This is the tropical paradise-- replete with overwater bungalows-- that you've been dreaming about all winter. Cocoa Island is just as dreamy as it looks: a sun-kissed resort on the white sandy shores of the Maldives islands surrounded by the warm blue sea. Laze on the beach (or on your own hidden terrace), swim in the private lagoon, or check out the watersports center for some unrivalled scuba diving. There's a gym with yoga facilities and a COMO Shambhala retreat with a full range of spa services. On sale now: the "Summer Special" at Cocoa Island where you get 7 nights for the price of 5, or 14 nights for the price of 10. And if you book by February 29, 2008, you will also receive a $200 resort credit. So go ahead and be an escapist this summer.


Golf Course Views in Naples, Florida at the Ritz Carlton


By: Editorial AdvisoryBoard

The palatial Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, FL offers deluxe accommodations and extensive greens. Use a Segway to scoot around or bring your furry friends - they have a Pet Program!

There are 2 Ritz-Carlton's in Naples, Florida - make sure you book the right one. The Ritz Carlton Naples Golf Resort is inland with two Greg Norman-designed golf courses, while the Ritz Carlton Naples sits on three miles of Gulf of Mexico beaches.


Room with a View on the Grand Canal: Hotel Gritti Palace, Venice, Italy


By: Mary Winston Nicklin

Hotel Gritti PalaceAhhh, Venice, the "open-air museum" of architectural treasures, grand palazzos with frescoes and romantic canals. From La Galleria dell'Accademia to the Peggy Guggenheim collection, the city is simply brimming with artistic masterpieces. And fine restaurants and shopping means Venice could be the perfect European destination. The hotel of choice is the exquisite Hotel Gritti Palace situated directly on the Grand Canal with incomparable views. Built in 1525 as the residence of Andrea Gritti, the Doge of Venice, the award-winning hotel is part of Starwood's Luxury Collection. And with gold-trimmed ceilings, marble tiles, and the finest Venetian antiques, it's really no wonder the Hotel Gritti Palace is considered one of the world's best hotels. Dine at the Club del Doge restaurant and fall in love with the views while getting spoiled like royalty. Choose the Room with a View Special and get great rates for a mid-week stay, including a bountiful buffet breakfast. Valid from Sundays- Thursdays until March 31, 2008, the offer is priced at EUR 459 per night. And if you reserve three consecutive nights at Hotel Gritti Palace (during the months of March, April, July and August 2008), you'll receive the best available rate plus your fourth night for free!